3 Surprising Ways People go into Debt

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated November 10, 2017

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Personal Finance
April 15, 2016

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Today, many Americans have common types of debt such as high credit card bills, debt from medical expenses and student loans that seem to take forever to pay off.

But you might be surprised to learn some of the other ways people have gone into debt. No, it’s not due to suddenly losing a job; rather, it’s a type of debt that sneaks up on you when you were under the impression everything was going to be okay. Let the following three surprising debt scenarios serve as a warning so you don’t unsuspectingly fall into your own debt trap.

Receiving a financial windfall can give you the impression that all your money problems are solved. But if you aren’t careful, you could find yourself in worse financial shape than you were before coming into all that cash.

Having loads of cash without knowing how to handle it properly can be a big problem. There are several cases of people winning the lottery who soon after found themselves poor or filing for bankruptcy. This is mainly because they thought they had plenty to spend, but saved little and did little accounting to ensure they were spending wisely.

You may be financially able to purchase a home, but unprepared for all the extra expense that goes with home ownership. Higher bills, new appliances or furniture purchases, and several other expenses can sneak up on you, such as the need for a new water heater. Property taxes, high HOA fees and homeowners insurance can also add to the financial burden.

That new home can soon become a financial trap, leading to surprising debt that can be hard to get out of. Careful budgeting and being realistic about how much home you can afford can save you from this problem.

Many consumers choose to lease a car rather than buy one. A lease saves you the trouble and financial hassle of getting a car loan, and also ensures that much of the maintenance is handled by the car dealership. However, if you aren’t careful, you wind up paying a lot more than just your monthly lease payment.

The surprising debt many get into when leasing a car occurs mainly when they turn the car in. Going over the mileage limit for your lease period, needing any repairs done and fees you must pay for turning the car in can all add up to a pretty penny.

Avoid any surprising debt by being smart, remaining aware of all expenses and finances, and not spending foolishly.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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